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Words of Wisdom

Selections from The Dhammapada – Chapters 9-13, Part 2 of 2

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Dhammapada means “Words of Doctrine” or “Way of Truth” in Pali. Dhammapada is an anthology of verses spoken by the Buddha on various occasions in response to a certain unique situation. It is one of the most popular and widely read Buddhist scriptures enjoyed by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Let us continue with “Selections from The Dhammapada, Chapters 11 through to 13.”

CHAPTER 11 AGING Verse 146 “Why is there laughter? Why is there joy although (the world) is always burning? Shrouded in darkness why not seek the light?”

Verse 147 “Look at this dressed up body, a mass of sores, supported (by bones), sickly, a subject of many thoughts (of sensual desire). Indeed, that body is neither permanent nor enduring.”

Verse 151 “The much ornamented royal carriages do wear out, the body also grows old, but the Dharma of the Virtuous does not decay. Thus, indeed, say the Virtuous among themselves.”

Verse 155-156 “They, who in youth have neither led the life of purity nor have acquired wealth, waste away in dejection like decrepit herons on a drying pond. They, who in youth have neither led the life of purity nor have acquired wealth, lie helplessly like arrows that have lost momentum, moaning and sighing after the past.”

CHAPTER 12 SELF Verse 157 “If one knows that one is dear to oneself, one should protect oneself well. During any of the three watches (of life) the wise man should be on guard (against evil).”

Verse 159 “One should act as one teaches others; only with oneself thoroughly tamed should one tame others. To tame oneself is, indeed, difficult.”

Verse 162 “As the creeper (maluva) strangle the Sal tree, so also, a really immoral person (overwhelmed by craving) does to himself just what his enemy wishes him to do.”

Verse 163 “It is easy to do things that are bad and unbeneficial to oneself, but it is, indeed, most difficult to do things that are beneficial and good.”

Verse 164 “The foolish man who, on account of his wrong views, scorns the teaching of homage-worthy Noble Ones who live according to the Dharma, is like the bamboo which bears fruit for its own destruction.”

CHAPTER 13 WORLDS Verse 167 “Do not follow ignoble ways, do not live in negligence, do not embrace wrong views, do not be the one to prolong samsara the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.”

Verse 170 “If a man looks at the world in the same way as one looks at a bubble or a mirage, the King of Death will not find him.”

Verse 173 “He who overwhelms with good the evil that he has done lights up this world, (with the light of Magga Insight), as does the moon freed from clouds.”

Verse 174 “Blind are the people of this world: only a few in this world see clearly (with Insight). So, only a few get to the world of the devas, (and Nirvana).”
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